Fida over his art huh?

At any point of time if I sound like a Hindu Fanatic, please pardon me. Please do not tell the Mumbai cops to attack me with tear gas. Also please do not give my blog link to Digvijay Singh else he would accuse me of being a part of RSS. These are just my views and you have the right to agree and disagree with it. Phool aur Kaante accepted.

Ok now that I have made myself clear, I will start writing now. I know criticizing someone after his soul departs is a bad thing, but I could not stop myself from expressing my views after reading the opinions of (so-called) liberal people in the newspaper.

On thursday, India's Picasso passed away in London at the ripe age of 96.  

Now, honestly I never understood modern or abstract art. 

So obviously, since I never understood Husain's paintings; I never understood the hype made out of his paintings. 

For me-
1) The aunties who made rangolis and kolams outside their home were better artists. 
2) RK Lakshman's 'You Said It' was 1000 times better as compared to his weird creatures on the canvas.
3) Art is something which touches your heart or something that we understand. 
4)  Da Vinci's The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa were perfect work of art.
5) A random horse (which looks like a donkey) running across the canvas or nude goddesses were not a form of art.

Besides the fact that I never understood his paintings, I was also against all the hype created about his exile by the media and the so-called liberal people. He had committed a mistake- won't call it grave because he did not murder anybody. But yes, the mistake was unpardonable. 

India is a secular country, which means that everyone has the right to practice and follow the religion of their choice. One is expected to behave properly and not interfere or hurt the sentiments of the people belonging to other religions. Hindus are in majority and we worship every god and their manifestations devotedly. Obviously, no person would like to see their Goddess or Bharat Mata in nude. Saraswati Devi is goddess of knowledge and we have always seen her in white sari with a veena in her hand. Obviously, you won't like to see the devi in a nude form. Rationalists may argue that how do you know how Saraswati Devi looks, have you seen her? No, none of us have seen her but definitely none of us would like to see her nude. Call us regressive, but the truth is we cannot see our beautifully adorned devi in such a form. 

MF Husain, like every Indian citizen was bestowed upon with the Freedom of Expression. But he, forgot that there is a thin line between expression of thoughts and hurting the sentiments of people. You are given the freedom of expression but you must respect it and use it responsibly. He crossed the line and faced the wrath from the so-called Hindu fanatics. It is very easy to call some groups as Extremists or fanatics, but spare a thought and tell me: were they wrong in revolting against such paintings?  Maybe their way of revolting was wrong but certainly not their intention. Being resilient is a good characteristic, but allowing people to take your sentiments for granted is not good. I don't support fanaticism. But I don't know I did not feel as though India has lost a gem. I felt a great void when Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Uncle Pai passed away early this year (they were not my relatives but I felt we lost a gem) but did not feel so for Maqbool Fida Husain. 

But having said that, I would thank him because the beautiful song Chillama Chilakama would have not existed had he not made the movie Meenaxi- the three cities :). May his soul Rest in Peace. 

P.S: I remember that I had promised to write about traffic rules. Will come up with it within a week. Promise! Gentlewoman promise :)


Neha said...

Ditto! I never understood modern art myself! why to waste money behind paintings you don't understand? And I know someone who had paid him 100 crores (yes) for his 10 odd paintings! such a waste!

And this guy nade Minaxi and Gajgamini! grrrrrrrr! nevertheless - may his soul rest in peace!

Harman said...

okay..maybe I have a difference in opinion ...
To me he was a great artist his paintings and and his expression was different ..a cut above the rest for which he was known...and renowned all over the world.
I agree he made nude paintings and what not ...which was annoying BUT dear what does politicians or other celebs do?? are they good??
look at the indian channels shown here in US with all kinds of crappy news and Bollywood dances and numbers literally F**** each other..its a shame ,a slap for everyone ...its like he did wrong he was caught But those who are not caught ..for them???sheila ki jawani and what not...
moving nude on different channels all desi babes it less then hussain?
why not catch these produces and censor board,,,
there is no difference ,its jus hypocrisy.

BK Chowla, said...

MFH doesnt deserve any space in Indian history.He was iental in insulting Hindus all the way without a word of caution from Xian-Muslim combo.
It he who decided to leave India.
Forget him.

A S said...


very sharp post i must say. Abstract art has its own charm. Although it does not appeal to many people. It is an outlet to an artist's thoughts.
MF Hussain is no more now, he died in another country longing to return to his birthplace. jane de yar.... relax

Insignia said...

I never understood Abstract art! In fact just the other day, we were having a conversation where I mentioned "I draw some random lines, it will be mocked at, but a famous person as MF does, it gets sold for millions of dollars"

Maybe abstract art is too intelligent to be understood for a lay woman like me. anyway, but if he was praised and called a great painter, maybe he definitely had that talent.

He did hurt the religious sentiments of others, no one has the right to do so! He should have apologized. He interpreted his nude paintings as "pure" but when he realized people got offended, he should have respected the sentiments and yes! apologized.

Nevertheless, he is not the only one who has crossed the line isnt it? What about those in the name of bollywood and fashion? Maybe they havent yet roamed around nude; but they are just one step behind.

Politicians who shunned him now want a memorial for him. What crap! Hypocrites. The sentiments of people are true, but were misused by politicians for their benefits.

Anyway he is gone now.

Hit Wicked said...

Honestly, totally my opinion. Although he is dead and may his soul rest in peace but what he did was not perceived in good light by many Indians. He never apologized for it and neither gave any clarification or justification for his controversial paintings, if any. 'Great' is a word we use without knowing its meaning.

He was great as an artist no doubt, but as they say Art is a 4 letter word.

Anita :) said...

I am with u on this, G3. Hurting sentiments of people in the name of art and calling it modern art and then saying that people dont understand it is pure blasphemy. Even in his good times I never liked him May his soul rest in peace.

Bikramjit said...

Ok will tell the cops to not do so .. Happy..

Why would someone say he was a indian Picasso HE was not, I did see a few of his paintings but they are no where as good as picasso.. its like insulting Picasso..

totally agree with you, no wonder he went on a self exile I guess that was a publicity stunt too .. and ooops to all who got hurt Sorry :)
but my advice is People please go and look at Picasso's paintings and art and then see his.. I am sure you will knwo the difference ..


gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Neha...100 crores?????????? even if that person had given me 1 crore, usko punya milta.

Hi Harman, true bollywood songs, dance everything about bollywood is sexist now, everything now shows a women in bad light and I agree that politicians and other celebs are hypocrites. But none of them (atleast from what I know) have ever insulted any god or goddess through their work. On the contrary they show false respect to other religions and castes to gain votes :P

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Chowla sir true...will forget him now :)

Hi AS, I agree i should not criticize a departed soul. I would not have written this post, had the newspaper just published an obituary. Here, the celebs, art curators, media, everyone were time and again accusing the Hindus 'extremists' for this. I know they wont read my blog but it was my way of saying that boss stop blaming the hindus for his exile. He should have respected the religion and sentiments of people, which he dint :(

Bindu, everyone crosses the limit now-a-days without taking into consideration people's sentiments. But so far as they don't mess with religion, caste, creed, culture, its ok. These are sensitive topics and they should be handled sensitively. It should not be misused under the pretext of freedom of expression. I hate hypocrisy. Pehle kisiko bagao aur phir uske marne ke baad maska lagao.

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Hit Wicked...pls samjhao Art is a 4 letter word means? I thought it has only 3 letters.

Anita, yeah even I dint like him bajuwala bacchas used to paint better than him :P

P.S: Want to read a post about u n ur chotu.

Bikram true, have seen picasso paintings on websites only but I agree with u, MFH's paintings were nothing compared to Picasso's....Husain's paintings were all show-sha.

moonlite:D said...

@G3: Agree with every word u've said.!!

May his soul RIP.

The Wabbster said...

Respected your writing/opinions till this post.

Sorry, this was just in bad taste.

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Hi CV thanks :)

Pradeep i am sorry if the post was in a bad taste. But then I stand by what I wrote.

Mona said...

Gayu, I am really shocked to see an educated girl like you talk like all those politicians and Hindu fundamentalist. Not everyone understands art, but those who do, are willing to pay crores for it, that does say a lot about him, his talent and his paintings. Comparing him to Picasso may not be fair, but how many other Indian painters do you know who've gained international recognition for their art?

Art has no boundaries. Its an expression. It doesn't have to be politically correct, nor does it have to bother about peoples sentiments. Its art, and that's about it. How you perceive it and decide to react to it is your prerogative. That doesn't wrong him in any way.

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Hi monu,
Politicians have their own agenda in making tamasha out of everything. Usually I never support their fundamentalist thoughts, but this one was different.

As a kid I have always seen my granny fasting for 9 days during navratri and decorating the idols of all the devis. I have seen Saraswati devi in a white sari and with a veena in her hand. Raja Ravi Verma's Saraswati painting is etched in my mind. Husain's painting was shocking for many including me.

Maybe he was a great painter (I never understood his paintings though) but he should have kept religion off his is a very sensitive subject not just in India but all over the world. India may have progressed but there are certain subjects such as portrayal of gods and goddesses, caste, culture etc that are close to people's heart and one should respect it. Criticize it but don't insult it.

Thommy said...

MFH was legend and a getting the Indian Modern art to international market.

Mona said...

As I said earlier. It is your perception, your need to see the goddess in a certain avatar. Our ancestors have fed this image in our heads. That doesn't mean this is the correct image or photographic evidence of how the goddess looks in person. How was he wrong in having his own version? Heck had he called this very painting that of Madhuri Dixit people would've thronged to the gallery to get a peak. But the minute gods are involved people have to get all senti and shoo him out of the country.

Its modern art, and if you look at it,women today don't wear that many cloths in today's modern world either ;).

Jack said...


I agree with you. I would like to ask so called liberal persons about their views about fatwa issued against Danish cartoonist. And what were MF Hussain's views on his cartoon? Now that he is no more, we should just pray that God blesses his soul with eternal peace.

Take care

PS : Do visit if you find time.

pRasad said...

I agree..

the hype surrounded with the name of M.F.Hussain was much more than he deserve.
aren't there better artists in India? Why just M.F.Hussain???

Bhargav said...

he might have had his own vision and concept of art, how art is / was defined by MFD was weird for so many of us.

nice read and your concern was upto mark..

do visit if time permits

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Thommy yes he might have been a legend and pioneer but that does not give anybody the freedom to make anything they want.

Monu if madhuri dixit had been painted the same way, why people madhuri herself would have objected to it. We are full of double standards. I wonder what would be the so-called liberal's kaa reaction if Husain had painted them nude and displayed it publicly.And about being senti when gods are brought in between...well this is not just in India, it is everywhere. Dan Brown's Da vinci code was slammed for stating that Jesus Christ was married. The Danish cartoonist Kurt was given a fatwa too. I still maintain Art has to respect religion, race etc. There are no two ways about it.

Jack so true it is the same everywhere. No one can tolerate religion being targeted. Had he not titled Saraswati below maybe he would have died in his own country.

Prasad I feel the ones who sit on the streets and make 'understandable' paintings for their living are the true artists.

Thanks Bhargav. I wonder if I can ever understand modern art, it looks very weird to me.

Chitz said...

i guess his paintings were something that he believed in just the way u stand by whatever u wrote....everyone has got the freedom to do what they feel like...and in india people protest against such paintings,books etc etc just to get publicity...